Swooning with the Swans.jpg
"Swooning with the Swans"
by Roberta Condon

2022 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest Winner in Poetry

99 Obstacles

After Morgan Parker
Whitney Schwindenhammer

1. I really miss Obama

2. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

3. Quedarse de piedra

4. 322 calories in avocados 

5.  I'd rather have gelato 

6. Why do you eat on a first date?

7. I hate to go to lectures 

8. Work out at least 5 times a week 

9. He holds my belly when we spoon

10. “self-care” 

11. What is so important about Friday night? 

12. Another baggy T-shirt 

13. Eating right... 

14. “dieting” 

 

15. Escitalopram 

 

16. Restlessness 

 

17. 118 

 

18. Stomach aches

 

19. Buying my car

 

20-23 Eating rituals 

 

24. "strongly agree to strongly disagree with the following statements..."

 

25. Undressing in front of the mirror 

 

26. 333 rule

 

27. Wyd this weekend?

 

28. Time management

 

29. YOLO

 

30. Angry outbursts

 

31. and frustration

 

32. Paying for tuition

 

33. The soundtrack to my life

 

34. "July" by Noah Cyrus

 

35. "Other Notes"

 

36. Missing someone is like standing in the ocean

 

37. "I know what you're going through"

 

38.  Says a man 

 

39. Amante

 

40-45. "Dude"

 

46. Bad dreams

 

47. I had too many shots

 

48. still woke up at 7 on a Saturday

 

49. "Pepas" by Farruko

 

50. Interracial couples

 

51. Not the "right" Spanish

 

52. Que tal?

 

53. Bilingual

 

54.Wine Wednesday

 

55. Birth control

 

56. Fiambre

 

57. Men in general

 

58. Men that look too long

 

59. White men

 

60. Gringos

 

61. Privelegio

 

62. Triggers

 

63-68. What I had to drink

 

69. Sex

 

70. The right pair of jeans

 

71. Frat parties

 

72. Conversation

 

73. Vices

 

74.Weed

 

75. Sex, again

 

76. My prom dress

 

77. That one drug test

 

78. The ex-boyfriend

 

79. Time is a social construct

 

80. "signs you have..."

 

81. Needing a job

 

82. but not wanting one

 

83. and not having enough money for…

 

84. the fun stuff

 

85. Gas

 

86. Sushi 

 

87. because fast food is bad for you

 

88. To "go out"

 

89. Paying for an apartment

 

90. "Thank God" by Sasha Sloan

 

91. The word "diagnosis"

 

92. Checking to see if your thumb meets your pointer finger

 

93. around the opposite wrist

 

94. Messy room

 

95. At least I washed my hair

 

96. Never have I ever said a prayer

 

97. Rubbing your feet together at night

 

98. Tapping your toe instead of your leg

 

99. 999

Whitney Schwindenhammer is a Spanish major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She is a sophomore and aspires to be a translator in the future.

Roberta Condon is an artist and gallerist from Portage, WI. She is an award-winning Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, and a member of the Master’s Circle in the International Association of Pastel Societies. Roberta Condon has a gallery and studio at 223 W Cook Street in Portage, WI and is the author of the book “Agriculture All Around, Agriculture Run Aground” which discusses the loss of the family farm in the Midwest. This work is from her book in progress, and series of paintings entitled “A Hollow Boned Muse”.